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Houses • Duplexes Rentals & Sales
How to be a wise renter Renting apartments or houses can be a difficult process, especially for someone new to the renting game.
Step 1: Shop for places you would like to live.
Look around, talk to friends, drive around the areas you would like to live. Try to find out basic information such as rates, utilities and whether or not they allow pets. Be cautious of on-line listings, and make sure you do your homework.
Step 2: Meet with a property manager or realtor to look at apartments or houses.
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We’re here to help you with the renting process. Karleen Garrett Boyd, broker licensed in the state of Texas
TexasTechWord.com / 2016-2017
Impressions are important when you’re renting. When you meet with a realtor, look neat and be polite. Realtors aren’t going to treat you like a responsible adult if you don’t look and act like one. (Keep in mind, students are not a protected class, and property owners have the right to refuse to rent to students.) On your first visit, know what questions you want to ask. Here are some things you’ll need to know: Ask about maintenance. Who is responsible for the upkeep? What if something breaks? What if you break something?
If you like what you see, the next step is to apply for the apartment or house.
Be financially prepared. Many places charge an application fee, and most require a down payment
or deposit or fee when you apply. (Do not apply for several different apartments or houses. Quite often, the deposits and fees are non-refundable.) You will need your social security card, driver’s license, employment information, contact information for current and past employers, and contact information of the management where you currently live. Renters may have income requirements to meet. These requirements vary from apartment to apartment and home to home. The management will also contact your employers and gather your current and past rental history to make sure you’re a responsible renter. In most cases, the management will also run criminal and credit background screenings to ensure you meet their rental qualifications. These screenings could be grounds for declining your application. Tip: if you have any criminal history, let the management know upfront. What if you don’t have any rental history? Most renters will be required to have a guarantor form signed. Usually, that is Mom and Dad so if you mess up, they are forced to pick up the tab. View this as an opportunity to build good credit.
Step 4: Sign the lease.
Many managers have a video to watch explaining the lease. This is just an overview; you still need to read the lease. Yes, they’re long (See How to be, Page 40)